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Childrearing

Every Parent Should Watch This ‘Offensive’ Childhood Obesity PSA Because It Speaks The Truth

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I’m not normally one to promote random Internet videos, but this Strong4Life.com PSA on childhood obesity is one that every parent must see. I’ve never seen the pathway to obesity depicted so directly and accurately. It’s for this reason that many parents might find the video offensive—the truth hurts.

According to Strong4Life.com, the aim of the video is to: “[Enlighten] us about the growing obesity in the United States and the world. The video touches on the point that obesity doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a lifetime worth of bad habits, bad choices, and bad nutrition.”

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As a parent, I fully understand that childhood obesity is an epidemic, estimated by the CDC to have doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. I also happen to live in South Texas in a city that was once declared one of the “fattest cities” in the US in years past. What a prize.

This video was posted to Reddit, where commenters agreed that PSAs like this need to be more commonplace, especially for parents. Bad eating habits start young. Parents are the ones who buy the groceries, meaning that they are the gateway to bringing junk into the house. While it is fine for kids to enjoy treats in moderation, if a child has a serious weight problem or health problem related to obesity, the parent is the one who is responsible for facilitating this change.

One Reddit commenter shares his story:

This was me when I was a kid. I was really overweight for my age. My parents let me have a lot of junkfood growing up. They weren’t negligent or bad parents by any means but my mother always said she just would feel bad telling me no when I ask her about it. My dad didn’t really care much as he was very overweight himself as well. At least I assume that’s why he didn’t see it as a huge problem when I ate junk food, because he did it too. I’m not sure if that’s the real reason or what though.

Before you scoff at this PSA, another Reddit commenter verifies its reality:

I’m 5’9, 32 years old and almost 300 pounds. I played all those gaming systems and pretty much grew up like that. Even with the fucking treadmill. I think for the first time, a psa got to me. See you soon progress pics (wish me luck reddit)

I know there are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity, but for the most part, this PSA illustrates that parents need to pull their heads out of their asses. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I personally believe that teaching a child healthy eating habits and how to maintain a healthy weight is just as important as other “hot button” parenting topics we often fight about. These are lifelong habits that are hard to unlearn. Don’t make it any harder for your child than it needs to be.

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